Short Run May Improve Brain Function, Study Says

Short Run May Improve Brain Function, Study Says

The Key Takeaways

  • Recent research shows that brain function can be improved in a short time.
  • Experts don’t know enough about the effects of running on brain function.
  • Running can have many other benefits that can be enjoyed by anyone, including reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases.

Another reason to exercise is the positive effect it has on brain function. What is the best way to get moving?

Research suggests that running, even a joyful activity, can have a positive impact on brain function. Here’s what you need to know about brain function, and the effects of running.

About the Study

26 healthy subjects ran a 10-minute treadmill at 50% peak oxygen uptake using the V02 max. Then, they did a 10 minute resting session. Twenty-six healthy subjects completed a 10-minute treadmill run at 50% peak oxygen uptake (using the V02 max), followed by a resting session.

Researchers discovered that running for 10 minutes stimulates the prefrontal cortex. This results in a higher level of positive mood and better executive function. The Stroop task had shorter interference times after the run. This was demonstrated by shorter interference times on the Stroop task post-run.

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The Stroop Task

This study measured the effects on brain function using the Stroop task. Chrissy Carrick is a MPH, RD and LDN, ACSM cPT, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coach, RRCA Certified Running coach.

Carroll says, “This is a well-known task that starts with a relatively simple task and ends with a more difficult portion.” “The last task requires that the individual write a name for a particular color. However, the font is printed in a different color.

The word blue could be written in red font, for example. Participants are asked to name the font color. There is a slight delay because of mismatches between the word and the font.

Carroll says, “If it seems easy, look online for examples. It’s surprisingly difficult.”

In this study, researchers measured time differences between the most difficult and easiest tasks and examined how running, which is a 10-minute run at a moderate pace, affected that time. Running was found to reduce time differences between tasks.

Carroll calls this the “Stroop interference” time. The researchers believe that running could increase executive function in the brain.

This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of a personal training in Tampa, one-on-one training, small group classes and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training and body goals!